To craft a unified long-term roadmap for Canada to achieve $25 billion for the plant-based market, we held dialogue sessions and surveys.
These effective discussions with over 100 industry members and stakeholders resulted in strong support for the roadmap’s end-goals and offered feedback on areas that need to be further developed to reach the sector’s full potential.
No business or organization can execute on the roadmap alone. These actions required constructive conversations to create this framework, so all industry organizations can find themselves in this roadmap.
Together, we must leverage our strengths within the sector to create a powerful ecosystem, take advantage of this opportunity, and achieve global leadership for Canada.
Plant-based food, feed and ingredients represent a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for Canada. One that not only represents annual economic growth, but that also contributes significantly to Canada’s transition to a zero-carbon economy, addresses national and global food security and nutritional challenges, and provides long-term stable employment opportunities for a range of highly and moderately skilled labour.
It is a widely held assertion that the plant-based foods market will be measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars within the next decade and that Canada, with the right investments in innovation and ecosystem-building activities, can become the global leader in the supply of such foods. No other nation has the combination of access to the raw commodities, international trade agreements and innovation ecosystem to rival Canada.
Yet there is a sense of urgency to support innovation and build the ecosystem that will, in turn, lead to necessary investments in ingredient and food processing infrastructure ahead of our competition.
Our goal must be to add as much value as we can, to supply the world with sustainably grown and produced plant-based food. Through that process we will create additional opportunities to innovate new products for the animal feed and pet food markets, as well new uses for co-products, whether that be in food or the bio-industrial sector.
There is no question the global demand is huge. In fact, it is so large that it will take many countries’ focused efforts to meet the demand. But Canada has an opportunity to claim more than just our share – we can become a leader and the preferred supplier of plant-based foods. It is expected that by 2035, the global value of the plant-based food market will exceed $250 billion.
We believe Canada can own 10 per cent of the global market by 2035, creating an additional $25 billion in sales annually for the Canadian economy.
To think about that in another way, we believe that by 2035 Canada will be the supplier of one out of every 10 plant-based meals or beverages served around the globe.
Canada is not the only country who has their eyes on this opportunity. Countries from Australia and Singapore, to Israel and the United States are actively working to carve out their share. They are doing this with large incentives for business attraction, regulatory systems to support innovation and government investments to accelerate the sector. Canada’s robust agrifood sector, integrated supply chain, and the sheer amount of feedstock available to ingredient, food and feed companies is a huge advantage, but there are many other factors that will impact our success, as well.
To be a leader, Canada must act quickly.
The current limiting factor for Canada is our ingredient processing capacity. We need to increase our processing capacity to turn crops into plant-based ingredients – including fractions, concentrates and isolates. Then we can create more value by further transforming those ingredients into food. We must also work to find new uses for co-products, whether that be in the feed market or bio-industrial applications.
The jump from ingredient to food is where there is most potential value for Canadian companies.
We need to work quickly to build more ingredient processing plants, most likely upwards of 20 across Canada in a very short while. This is a heavy lift to accomplish in the next 10 years. It will require billions in capital, access to labour, continued investment into innovation and a competitive business environment.
CREATING THE ROADMAP TO 2035
For Canada to capture 10 per cent of the global market by 2035, we need a coordinated and collaborative effort. Not one organization or any single investment can create a sector.
Plant Forward - The Roadmap to 2035 is about setting a bold vision for Canada, to create an understanding of the opportunity in front of us and to articulate the urgency of a national response. The goal of the roadmap is to facilitate a national dialogue and build a foundation of stakeholders committed to working together to execute on the roadmap.
In dialogue with many in the industry, Protein Industries Canada has begun work to identify a clear set of outcomes and a proposed suite of recommended actions to initiate a conversation with the larger sector. Our goal is not to tell any organization what to do, but instead to create a common framework and language to facilitate constructive conversation and to help organizations find themselves in the roadmap.
This is not a roadmap or strategy for Protein Industries Canada. It is a roadmap for the sector.
To reach $25 billion in annual sales by 2035, it will require the commitment of many.
THE ROAD TO $25 BILLION
The path to becoming a global leader in the processing and production of plant-based foods is complex. It is an emerging sector that is evolving very quickly, and that is anchored by a discerning and well-informed consumer base.
It will take a coordinated and dedicated effort by many organizations for Canada to become not just a supplier of plant-based foods, but the preferred supplier. To do so we must be on the cutting edge of innovation – continuously developing new products and processes – but we also must work to create a competitive business environment in Canada, while curating businesses that are competitive on the global stage.
To reach that opportunity, we must focus on advancing the sector in three areas: Innovate, Scale and Prosper.
Why it is important: At the heart of Canada’s success will be our ability to be on the leading edge of innovation. It will be our ability to develop new ingredients and food products that are better than the competition. To do that we must innovate along the entire value chain. Are there challenges in processing that could be solved through genetics? Are there ways to improve processing that reduce inputs and reduce waste? How can we leverage Canada’s strength in crop breeding to adopt and scale up new varieties? To answer these questions, and more, we must take a coordinated and planned approach to innovation.
- Canada is a hub for plant-based food innovation.
- Increase investment into diversified plant-based food innovation
- International research partnerships to accelerate innovation
- Public research alignment to support manufacturing & production
- Become a magnet for global talent attraction
- Canada’s regulatory system must signal to the world that we will accelerate and enable the development and commercialization of plant-based foods.
- International protein equivalency/labelling best practices
- Improve service standard for novel foods approval
- Gene editing regulation
- Create consistency in regulation (i.e. fortification)
- Centre of excellence for regulatory modernization and compliance
- Canada’s agrifood sector is recognized as one of the world’s most sustainable sources of plant-based foods and ingredients.
- Food system works to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Reduce carbon footprint
- Generate data to support traceability and to deliver on market expectations
- Canada is a global leader in the conversion of research and innovation into commercially successful products and services.
- Improved entrepreneurial acumen
- Post-secondary programs on entrepreneurship
- Public sector IP pipeline for entrepreneurs; other IP tools
- Universities/colleges’ programs to support the future workforce’s technical requirements
Why it is important: To cement our place as a global leader we must be able to meet demand. If we are unable to meet a customer’s demand – related to product or quantity – they will look elsewhere. Right now, Canada is currently in the building phase – we are not producing enough product to meet the demand, but no country is. As a metaphor, right now when we turn on the tap, there is a trickle of plant-based ingredients and food coming from Canada. We need to turn that into a steady and reliable flow that can be exported to customers around the world. Supply chains are currently being established around the world. We need to act quickly to scale up processing here in Canada.
- Canada’s plant-based foods sector raises the capital needed to support trailblazing companies to achieve an additional $25 billion in annual sales.
- Creation of a Growth Capital Fund
- Policy options to manage investor risk
- Crown lending agencies’ programs to de-risk investments
- Develop capital providers’ knowledge of sector
- Canada builds, expands, attracts and retains companies.
- Focused ingredient/food tech incubator
- Establish toll processing and co-packaging facilities
- Improved business acumen
- Programming for under-employed/under-represented Canadians
- Our national plant-protein ecosystem attracts foreign companies to establish operations in Canada.
- Coordinated FDI strategy
- Suite of capital expenditure incentives
- Network of foreign partners to attract FDI
- Better integrated Public-private investment approach
- Canada offers a competitive business environment for the construction of new processing facilities.
- Creation of ingredient and food processing parks
- Regional coordination on capital expenditure incentives
Why it is important: The ultimate goal of a strong plant-based food, feed and ingredient ecosystem is to contribute to Canada’s economy and create opportunities for Canadians. To do that we must be able to commercialize our products, enter new markets and have a recognizable and valuable brand. The world, and, more importantly, target countries, needs to understand Canada’s value proposition, and we must leverage our strengths and our ability to be a solution to some of the most pressing issues currently facing the world – food insecurity, health and nutrition, and climate change.
- Canada’s brand is globally recognized and respected.
- Define plant-protein value proposition
- Identify markets aligned with Canada’s value proposition
- Company support for brand development
- Market Canadian products and companies
- Canada’s plant-based food sector delivers the world’s most diverse, health-conscience, appetizing and consumer-focused products.
- Be aware of and aligned with consumer trends & value in key markets
- Improved consumer awareness of plant-based food benefits
- Identify white space opportunities
- Adopt advanced manufacturing technologies & data practices
- Canadian companies take advantage of global opportunities.
- Canadian plant-based entrepreneurs considers product development, access to capital and how to compete globally
- Position Canada as a global innovation hub and product test market
- Trade agreements to support growth of the sector
- Canadian companies benefit from a highly integrated and nimble supply chain.
- Create opportunities for collaboration
- Incent value chain-driven innovation
- Customer-centric approach to innovation